CNN report that “a Texas lawmaker has proposed a bill that would fine a man $100 each time he masturbates.”
The bill also imposes a 24-hour waiting period if a guy wants a colonoscopy or a vasectomy, or if he’s in the market for some Viagra.
The idea that you could ban masturbation would appear impossible, and a huge imposition on a person’s human rights.
The Dallas News notes – Farrar’s bill penalizes masturbatory emissions outside a vagina or a medical facility, describing them as “an act against an unborn child” that fails to preserve “the sanctity of life.”
When I first read this news I assumed it was from a Fundamentalist Christian, linking as it does with the concept of the unborn child. The reality of this Bill is to highlight the plight of many women in Texas.
“Jessica Farrar, a Democrat, knows her bill isn’t going to get very far but she proposed it last week to make a point and give male lawmakers a taste of their own medicine.” ‘A Women’s right to know’ has long been criticized for being inaccurate, ideologically influenced by religion and designed to discourage women from getting abortions.
One section of the pamphlet says breast cancer and abortions are linked. Scientific studies have found no cause-and-effect relationship between the two.
“We have real lives to deal with,” said Farrar, who pointed out that Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world.
And she’s right — the rate of women who died from pregnancy-related complications doubled from 2010 to 2014, according to a recent study (CNN Report).
Texas is just one State that has a policy that is driven by political and religious conservatism. In the UK there has been much publicity about the Tampon Tax. To mitigate against the backlash of this, women were told money raised would go to women’s causes, and in keeping with a conservative agenda that includes an anti -abortion group.
The role of the State in deciding what it should legislate is always problematic. Should government regulate through tax on behaviours they discourage, be that through a sugar tax, minimum pricing for alcohol, tax hikes for tobacco and restrictions where you can smoke. Or should they regulate by banning behaviour, be that people taking drugs or banning certain private activities. For example, homosexuality is still illegal in a number of countries.
My view is that Society can try and influence behaviour but it is not best placed to legislate on a person’s private behaviour.
In the case of abortion, I believe it is the right of a woman to determine what she does with her body, and a child is only that when it is no longer part of the mother’s body, namely born. The debate is difficult but for too long pregnancy has been a male led debate to control women and as a man I know that simply cannot be right.